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Belmont County

Belmont County

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Belmont County feeling the oil and gas boom

Updated: Wednesday, April 2 2014, 01:05 PM EDT

BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio - "It's a good day to be in Belmont County."

Those were the words of Belmont County Commissioner Matt Coffland on Wednesday as a check to the tune of more than $3 million was presented to commissioners from Rice Energy, an oil and gas exploration and production company based in Canonsburg, Pa.

Rice Energy President and Chief Operating Officer Toby Rice said Belmont County is one of the most actively drilled counties.

"So far we've invested over $300 million in lease hold bonus payments," he said. "With our development plans we have in place, that lease hold gives us up to over 700 wells with our joint venture partner Gulfport Energy. That could be an investment totaling over $7 billion."

He also noted that Belmont County is Rice Energy's most welcoming county.

Commissioners already have plans for the money.

 "The first million is going to go to the I-70/Mall Road connector project," Belmont County Commissioner Mark Thomas said. "And then we're going to use the balance to pay down some of our old debt at high interest rates so that we can be more responsive to our tax payers."

Thomas said he hopes additional and even larger sums of money continue to flow in over the years, as this could be just the beginning for Belmont County residents.

Belmont County feeling the oil and gas boom

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